God says, “Remember the Sabbath.”
I forget a lot.
Even though this commandment gets little attention, it’s an easy one to “keep” by most standards: Go to church. 60 minutes later our duty is done, our Sabbath is kept.
Most of us don’t even know what we’re missing.
To combat my propensity for forgetfulness, I’ve discovered some insights that help me remember. Truth, Confession, Focus.
A peek into God’s Word gives us a peek into God’s heart.
Last words carry some weight, some clout.
When Moses came off of Mt. Sinai (the first time) after his 40 day encounter with the Living God, take note of God’s final instructions to Moses.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy…For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’” Exodus 31:12-13, 15-17
Remembering that Sabbath is Commandment #4(*) – Exodus 20. The first three commandments speak about our relationship with God. The final six speak about our relationship with people. Number four is the bridge. Sabbath Keeping impacts our walk with God and our walk with each other. My children will attest to this fact. Mama’s a whole lot easier to live with when she’s rested and refreshed.
When it comes to Sabbath Keeping, God pulled out his highlighter. More than once. He added exclamation points in all five books of the Torah and throughout the entire Old Testament. Outside of idolatry, it seems to be a commandment near and dear to the heart of God.
Moses seemed to get the point. First chance he got, Moses shared what was most pressing on God’s agenda and his.
Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the Lord has commanded you to do: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord…” Exodus 35:1-2a
The truth is – God takes Sabbath quite seriously.
Where does Sabbath fall on God’s priority list?
Where does it fall on mine?
Don’t jump ahead to the “how in the world would this work?” Just focus on the Word. Allow the Spirit free and full reign.
This week’s theme will be coming your way in 3 shorter posts, instead of a single long one. Let me know what you think of this week’s set-up. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I want this exploration to be insightful, practical and user-friendly in every way.
(*) When most Christians number the Ten Commandments, Sabbath Keeping comes up #4. Lutheran and Catholic believers recognize it as #3.
Is This Your First Time Here?
Run hard. Rest well. launched in March 2013. We’d like to invite you to subscribe to this weekly blog. The information to do so is located on the right hand side of this page. I’d also like to encourage you to read the first 6 posts on the right hand side. Start with Week 1. Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.
God’s richest blessings.